Beyond his name, the Australian Shepherd dog was developed in the western U.S, not in Australia, during the time of the Gold Rush in the 1840s. He initially bred to herd livestock and remains a working dog breed at heart; having the nickname “the Aussie”, also becomes happiest when he has got a job to deal with. If guide his energy and intelligence into activities and dog sports, he can simply be a smart family member.
Dog Breed Group: Herding Dogs
Height: From 1 foot, 6 inches to 1 foot, 11 inches tall at the shoulder
Weight: 40 to 65 pounds
Life Span: 12 to 15 years
Need to know about Australian Shepherd
Australian Shepherd does need around 40 to 60 minutes of exercise other high-energy activities every day like playing Frisbee. He also needs a job to do, just like daily compliance training or competing in agility and herding trials. Australian Shepherd can also bark a lot and be destructive for a long period of time if he is not getting the mental stimulation and exercise he needs.
Aussie can alert bark to warn you if he hears or see something suspicious, and will guard your family and home with a surprising aggressiveness. Although Australian Shepherd is habitual of living in a wide-open space, if he has enough exercise and stimulation, he does and remains fine in the cities. But he is not a good apartment dog. You will need to have at least a small yard to assist him to get out some of his high energy.
Australian Shepherd is an average shedder and coat requires daily maintenance along with brushing weekly to keep it clean and prevent matting. Aussie enjoys the company of his family and prefers to remains very close to his human pack. He is standoffish by nature with people he doesn’t know, and unless he has daily exposure to many different people.
To want your dog to be healthy, you should never buy a puppy from a reckless breeder, pet store or puppy mill. Always find a breeder who has the reputation of testing his breeding dogs ensure that he is free of genetic diseases.
Australian Shepherd Health
You can find Aussie normally healthy, but just like all breeds; he can also have certain health conditions. Not every Aussie will have any of these diseases, but it is really crucial to have awareness of each of them if you are about to buy this breed. If you are planning to buy a puppy, find a responsible breeder who can show you clearances of health for both parents of your puppy. Health clearance proves that the puppy has been tested for and cleared of a specific condition.
As far as Aussies are concerned, you are supposed to expect to have health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for elbow dysplasia, hip dysplasia (with a score of better), hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand’s disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the CERF (Canine Eye Registry Foundation) certifying that the eyes are normal. You can also visit OFA web site (offa.org) to confirm health clearances.
Note: This health information is all about providing our visitors with a type of general knowledge. In order to be aware of any health issues or any diseases and conditions, do consult your veterinarian.
Australian Shepherd Care
- You should have a yard as well as a secured fence that your Aussie cannot jump over or dig under. Underground electronic fencing will not work be suitable for this particular breed.
- Aussie also has the desire to move out and herds something.
- Your Aussie needs from a half hour to an hour of refreshing activity every day, a Frisbee game, just like a run, or agility exercises or obedience.
- The Aussie has got an excellent habit of chasing and nipping for herding sheep but has got bad manners when it comes to other pets and humans.
- The Aussie just wants to know who is actually in charge so he can do a better job for you.
Feeding Australian Shepherd
Recommended daily amount: 1.5 to 2.5 cups of good quality dry food every day that is divided into two meals.
Note: How much your adult Aussie eats, depends on his size, build, age, metabolism and activity level. The dogs are individuals, just like the human, and they do not want the same amount of food. In simple words, a highly agile and active dog will, of course, need more than a dog who is a couch potato. When you buy the quality food for your dog also makes a difference — the better the food for your dog, the further it will go towards nourishing the dog and the less of it you will need to shake into your dog’s bowl.
If you are not sure, whether he is overweight or not look down at him first and then you will be able to see his waist. Now keep your hands on his back and your thumbs on his spine, along with the fingers that spread downward. You will be able to feel his ribs but not see without pressing hard. If you can’t, he definitely will need more exercise and less food.
Australian Shepherd Children and Other Pets
Many Australian Shepherds consider kids part of their “flock,” because they are herding dog breeds, so you will have to teach your Aussie that nipping and chasing kids to herd them is disallowed. Once they learn this lesson, Aussies make wonderful companion dogs for families with kids. Always teach your children how to touch and approach dogs, and the interactions between young children and dogs must always be supervised to prevent any biting or tail or ear pulling. Teach your children never try to approach any dogs while they are sleeping or eating or taking their food away.